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SFX company shoots for the stars with moving model of solar system for Christmas at Selfridges

19 November 2015

Award-winning creative special effects company, Artem, has recently completed an ambitious window installation for London’s Selfridges on Oxford Street.

The giant 2.8 metre orbiting orrery – a mechanical model of the solar system – forms the centrepiece of Selfridges’ 2015 cosmos-themed Christmas window displays.

The gold and chrome model will rotate all day, every day until the New Year, with each of the planets orbiting independently. Artem’s computer-aided design (CAD) software enabled the mechanics and components of the model to be designed alongside each other. The project was completed in just eight weeks from the first designs to the final installation.

Selfridges arranged for a film crew to record each stage of the construction by installing a series of time-lapse cameras within Artem’s workshop and during the installation itself. The final film is currently on display in another front window of Selfridges.



“The magnificent Orrery stands proudly at the start of our Oxford Street run of windows, gently orbiting within its own universe. We knew we could rely on the expertise at Artem to deliver a prop element as extraordinary as this.” James Barnett, Production Manager at Selfridges.

“Aside from the narrow timeframes, one of the biggest challenges was to create a model of such size and scale that could work reliably and smoothly without compromising its visual impact. It was therefore crucial that we had all aspects of, not just the aesthetics, but also the precise workings of this, locked off at a very early stage.” Ritchie Beacham-Paterson, Artem Supervisor on the project.





This is the third display that Artem has created for Selfridges this year. Previous displays include a window which was part of Selfridges ‘Strength’ campaign and another which was inspired by the work of 20th century Italian artist, Piero Fornasetti.

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